Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007 Waterbird Blog Conclusion

After 3 months of counting, the Fall 2007 Waterbird Count ended today.

Over 100,000 birds were tallied this fall which makes it a pretty decent fall in terms of numbers!

The most numerous species this fall was LONG-TAILED DUCK with almost 23,000 counted!

Brief highlights from the waterbird shack have included (MBRC pending):

3 PACIFIC LOONS

1 HARLEQUIN DUCK

79 HUDSONIAN GODWITS - A new Michigan one-day record!

3 MARBLED GODWITS - A new fall high count here at Whitefish Point.

26 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS

5 RED KNOTS

1 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE

1 PURPLE SANDPIPER - 4th ever point record

43 JAEGERS - All were either Parasitic Jaegers or "jaeger species"

4 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES - 2 adults and 2 juveniles

3+ SABINE'S GULLS - Seen 6 days in a row!

1 ICELAND GULL

1 WESTERN KINGBIRD

1 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE

1 CAVE SWALLOW - 2nd point record


I just want to thank all of you who read the blogs and those who visited Whitefish Point this season. We hope you come back and visit next year!

Remember, the spring Hawk Count and Owl Banding begins just 4 months from today!

Signing out for Fall 2007,

Cory J. Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter


P.S.

Many of you know that I was actively keeping a "Ship List" of all the various freighters that passed by the point. I have included my final list of 117 ships. I was able to photograph over 80% of all the ships listed so if you wish to see the ship, drop me an email and I can send you a picture!

In alphabetical order:

ADAM E. CORNELIUS
ALGOLAKE
ALGOMARINE
ALGONORTH
ALGOSAR
ALGOSTEEL
ALPENA
AMERICABORG
AMERICAN CENTURY
AMERICAN COURAGE
AMERICAN FORTITUDE
AMERICAN INTEGRITY
AMERICAN MARINER
AMERICAN REPUBLIC
AMERICAN SPIRIT
AMERICAN VALOR
AMERICAN VICTORY
ARTHUR M. ANDERSON
ATLANTIC HURON
BBC ELBE
BBC FINLAND
BELUGA ELEGANCE
BELUGA EXPECTATION
BIRCHGLEN
BUFFALO
BURNS HARBOR
CANADIAN ENTERPRISE
CANADIAN LEADER
CANADIAN MINER
CANADIAN PROGRESS
CANADIAN PROSPECTER
CANADIAN PROVIDER
CANADIAN RANGER
CANADIAN TRANSFER
CANADIAN TRANSPORT
CAPT. HENRY JACKMAN
CASON J. CALLAWAY
CEDARGLEN
CHARLES M. BEEGHLY
COLUMBUS
CSL ASSINIBOINE
CSL ATLANTIC ERIE
CSL PINEGLEN
CSL TADOUSSAC
CUYAHOGA
DONGEBORG
EDGAR B. SPEER
EDWARD L. RYERSON
EDWIN H. GOTT
FEDERAL DANUBE
FEDERAL KIVALINA
FEDERAL MARGAREE
FEDERAL RHINE
FEDERAL SHIMANTO
FEDERAL WESER
FINEX
FRONTENAC
GORDON C. LEITCH
GOVIKEN
GREAT LAKES TRADER
GRIGORIY ALEKSANDROV
H. LEE WHITE
HALIFAX
HERBERT C. JACKSON
INDIANA HARBOR
IRMA
ISA
ISADORA
JAMES R. BARKER
JOHN B. AIRD
JOHN D. LEITCH
JOHN G. MUNSON
JOHN J. BOLAND
JOSEPH H. THOMPSON
JOSEPH L. BLOCK
JUMBO SPIRIT
KASTEELBORG
KAYE E. BARKER
KIYI
LAKE GUARDIAN
LAKE ONTARIO
LAKE SUPERIOR
LEE A. TREGURTHA
LIMNOS
MAGDALENA GREEN
MALYOVITZA
MANISTEE
MARITIME TRADER
MESABI MINER
MICHIPICOTEN
MILO
MONTREALAIS
NOGAT
PATHFINDER
PAUL R. TREGURTHA
PHILIP R. CLARKE
PILICA
POCHARD
PRESQUE ISLE
QUEBECOIS
ROGER BLOUGH
SABINA
SAGINAW
SAM LAUD
SCOTER
SENECA
ST. CLAIR
STEWART J. CORT
TUSCARORA
VANCOUVERBORG
VEERSEBORG
VICTORIA
VLISTBORG
VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT
VOYAGEUR PIONEER
WALTER J. MCCARTHY JR.
WOODY

15 November 2007

Highlights: RED-THROATED LOON (2), AMERICAN PIPIT (1)

WEATHER: It was a pretty brutal morning! Gale-force winds were out of the north along with frequent snow showers and very poor visibility. Skies were completely clouded over the whole day. The temperature was cooler today, it ranged from 1-3 Celsius. See the short video below of the wind and snow!




OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were higher than the previous several days due to the winds out of the north. The new winds brought nearly 500 migrants past the point. No species was seen every hour but Common Goldeneye came the closest; seen 6 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was also Common Goldeneye with 200+ counted. In fact, Common Goldeneye was the last species tallied this fall!!

DUCKS & GEESE: Surprise surprise, a last MALLARD flew by the point this morning! Scoter numbers were thin; only 6 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (200+), BUFFLEHEAD (80+), and LONG-TAILED DUCK (8) were counted. Over 70 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen in addition to 10+ COMMON MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: I can't remember the last day that Common Loon was missed, but it happened today! However, 2 RED-THROATED LOONS passed overhead during the 4th hour. Over 15 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted but Horned Grebe was not seen today.

No raptors or shorebirds were seen today.

The only other non-waterbird species seen from the beach today were SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and an AMERICAN PIPIT. Today ties the late date for American Pipit here at Whitefish Point.

This concludes the Fall 2007 Waterbird Count at Whitefish Point. Look for one last post here in a couple minutes.....

Thanks for reading,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

14 November 2007

Highlights: RED-THROATED LOON (1)

WEATHER: The winds started as moderate out of the west but they later shifted to strong out of the NW. Skies were completely clear for the first 4 hours but the last several were very cloudy and it actually downpoured during the last hour of the count. The temperature ranged from 8-10 Celsius before it started to drop late in the count.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were lower than expected, just about 200 migrants total. We were skunked the last two hours, no migrants passed by at all! Hence, no species was seen every hour but Red-breasted Merganser and Red-necked Grebe came the closest; seen 6 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with 50 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: A couple flocks of SCAUP passed by totaling over 50 birds whereas scoter numbers were thin; only 5 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (10+), BUFFLEHEAD (20+), and LONG-TAILED DUCK (4) were counted. Fifty RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen while only a few COMMON MERGANSERS were tallied.

LOONS & GREBES: It was very slow with loons today. One COMMON LOON and 1 RED-THROATED LOON passed during the first hour of the count. The westerly winds helped the grebes today; over 30 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted in addition to 1 HORNED GREBE.

RAPTORS: The only raptors seen today were a couple of RED-TAILED HAWKS (see photo below) and 1 NORTHERN GOSHAWK.


Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included PINE GROSBEAK, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and both DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERS.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Fall 2007 Waterbird Count.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Snow is expected along with gusty north winds and a high near 34 F. Better dress warm!

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory

arcticory@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

13 November 2007

Highlights: PURPLE SANDPIPER (1), RED-THROATED LOON (1), BLACK SCOTER (1)

WEATHER: I knew it couldn't be true and in fact, it WASN'T sunny today like they forecasted! Skies were cloudy, visibility was good, and winds were strong out of the SW. The temperature ranged from 4-11 Celsius. Late in the count, blowing sand became a problem as a gale kicked up out of the SW.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Today seemed very average and actually, the total number of migrants seen today was within 5 of yesterdays total; about 260 birds. No species was seen every hour but Red-breasted Merganser and Red-necked Grebe came the closest; seen 5 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Bufflehead with 79 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: A nice flock of 20+ SCAUP passed by during the 2nd hour. Only 4 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by along with a BLACK SCOTER. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (20+), BUFFLEHEAD (79), and LONG-TAILED DUCK (6) were counted. About 50 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen while only a few COMMON MERGANSERS were tallied.

LOONS & GREBES: Three COMMON LOONS and 1 RED-THROATED LOON passed by while over 10 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted.

SHOREBIRDS: A PURPLE SANDPIPER buzzed along the shore in the second hour (about 9:25 AM). It was heading NW along the beach before it seemingly headed due north over the lake. It was not refound or relocated.

RAPTORS: With the southwest winds again today, a few raptors were seen. Species included BALD EAGLE (1), RED-TAILED HAWK (2), SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (1), and NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1 juvenile).

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included PINE GROSBEAK, SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Skies are suppose to be cloudy, winds will be strong out of the west, and temperatures might reach the upper 40's F.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Monday, November 12, 2007

12 November 2007

Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1 adult!), SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (1)

WEATHER: Winds this morning were moderate out of the southwest but they later shifted (and strengthened) to out the northwest. The count started with a thick bank of fog offshore but that burned off during the 4th hour. Skies remained cloudy or mostly cloudy the rest of the day. The temperature was rather steady, ranging only from 8-9 Celsius. The slightly warmer temperatures actually improved visibility dramatically.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Compared to yesterday, today was pretty active! Although nothing staggering, Bufflehead had a good flight during the first couple hours. Over 260 migrants were seen total. Only one species was seen every hour: Red-necked Grebe. The most numerous species was Bufflehead with 104 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were 2 MALLARDS. Seen 4 different hours, a total of 10 SCAUP passed by. Over 5 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by along with 9 BLACK SCOTERS. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (19), BUFFLEHEAD (104), and 27 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted. Over 10 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen while only a couple COMMON MERGANSERS were tallied.

LOONS & GREBES: Four COMMON LOONS passed by while over 35 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted. Their highest hour, the 8th, came along with the newly shifted winds out of the NW.

GULLS: A lone BONAPARTE'S GULL was seen in the second hour. The highlight of the day came in the 6th hour when an adult BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen! This is the second time this season that a rare adult has been seen at the point! It was seen well as it flew little off the tip before it eventually headed south.

RAPTORS: A few hawks got up later in the count, most likely a product of the southwest winds we had earlier today. Species seen included BALD EAGLE (1), RED-TAILED HAWK (2), ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (1), and NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1 juvenile).

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (1), PINE GROSBEAK, BOHEMIAN WAXWING (20+), SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Believe it or not, sunny skies are forecasted for tomorrow! It should be breezy with a high temperature near 51 F.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Sunday, November 11, 2007

11 November 2007

Highlights: BLACK SCOTER (1), SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (1)

WEATHER: Strong winds were out of the south, the skies were cloudy, and temperatures ranged from 7-8 Celsius. It didn't rain although the skies looked threatening early in the day. Visibility was moderate.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: SLOW would sum up today nicely. In fact, fewer than 60 migrants were seen total! No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck and Red-breasted Merganser came the closest; seen 5 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with 25 counted

DUCKS & GEESE: Although no dabblers were seen today, 1 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP was seen. Scoter numbers remained thin; only 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 1 BLACK SCOTER were counted. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (7), BUFFLEHEAD (10), and 25 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted. Over 10 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and a couple COMMON MERGANSERS were also tallied.

LOONS & GREBES: A couple COMMON LOONS and 4 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted. There were no sightings of Red-throated Loon or Horned Grebe today.

RAPTORS: A few hawks got up later in the count, most likely a product of the south and southwest winds we've had today. Species seen included BALD EAGLE (4), RED-TAILED HAWK (4), ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (1), and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (1). The 11th of November is getting pretty late for Sharp-shinned Hawk, hence the "highlight".

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BOHEMIAN WAXWING (40+), SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, EUROPEAN STARLING (1), and DOWNY WOODPECKER.

The Townsend's Solitaire was not seen today.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Scattered showers before 1pm, a strong south wind, and a high near 47. However, the winds are forecasted to shift to NW tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Saturday, November 10, 2007

10 November 2007

Highlights: TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (1), ICELAND GULL (1), THAYER'S GULL (1 at harbor), SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (3)

WEATHER:
Moderate winds were out of the south and southwest most of the day and the skies remained cloudy. Temperatures ranged from 3-7 Celsius and visibility was decent all day.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The diversity today was rather average although the numbers were probably below-average. Over 370 migrants were seen total. No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck and Red-breasted Merganser came the closest; seen 7 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Bufflehead with 190+ counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: Although no dabblers were seen today, about 15 SCAUP were seen. Scoter numbers remained thin; only 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 2 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (40), BUFFLEHEAD (190+)), and nearly 50 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted. All three mergansers were seen today: 30 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 10 COMMON MERGANSERS, and 3 drake HOODED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Eight COMMON LOONS, 7 RED-NECKED GREBES and a HORNED GREBE were seen. There were no sightings of Red-throated Loon today.

GULLS: A young ICELAND GULL flew in and landed at the tip during the 7th hour. It later flew to the harbor (where it was relocated and photographed). Also at the harbor this evening was a young THAYER'S GULL.

RAPTORS: A BALD EAGLE and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK were seen during the count today.

A TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was found inland today. Later in the day, it was seen perched on the "Merlin Pole" out near the beach.

Also found inland today after almost a week absence, the PRAIRIE WARBLER still lives!

During the first hour of the count, 3 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE flew over the shack. They seemed to have come from the beach and although I can't be certain, I believe they came in off the lake.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BOHEMIAN WAXWING (30+), AMERICAN ROBIN (1), SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, PINE GROSBEAK, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and DOWNY WOODPECKER.

For an update on the inland sightings (and photos), please visit Chris Neri's WPBO Sightings Blog.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: It should be cloudy with a moderate wind out of the south and a high near 47.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Friday, November 9, 2007

9 November 2007

Highlights: GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (1), large FALCON sp. (1), RED-THROATED LOON (1)

WEATHER: Winds were light out of the east and southeast most of today and skies were completely cloudy all day long. Temperatures ranged from 4-6 Celsius. Visibility was poor this morning but it eventually cleared somewhat.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Today was pretty slow, perhaps due to the winds out of the east and southeast. Over 400 migrants were seen total and three species were seen every hour: Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, and Red-necked Grebe. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with about 165 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: No dabblers were seen today. About 15 Aythya were seen (some were Lesser Scaup). Scoter numbers remained thin; only 4 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 1 BLACK SCOTER were seen. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (50+), BUFFLEHEAD (100+), RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (35), and almost 170 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted.

LOONS & GREBES: Four COMMON LOONS and 1 RED-THROATED LOON were seen today, all within the first 4 hours of the count. Over 10 RED-NECKED GREBES and a couple HORNED GREBES were also seen.

GULLS: A first-year GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was at the point during the 4th hour.

RAPTORS: A BALD EAGLE was seen in addition to a large FALCON species. By the time the falcon was seen, it was headed directly away from us and it never turned or banked.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, PINE GROSBEAK, RED CROSSBILL, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and DOWNY WOODPECKER.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: It should be mostly cloudy, calm winds, and a high near 42.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Thursday, November 8, 2007

8 November 2007

Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1), HOODED MERGANSER (1)

WEATHER: We woke up to a fresh inch or so of wet snow this morning. The walk out to the shack this morning was beautiful, the snow was sticking to every twig and blade of grass. Snow fell for the first several hours of the count but it eventually switched to rain and then finally ended about halfway through the day. Skies remained completely cloudy, visibility was never great, and the winds were moderate out of the south. Temperatures ranged from 2-5 Celsius.


OVERALL MOVEMENT: Today seemed a little slow, probably due to the south winds. About 1000 migrants were seen total and one species was seen every hour: Long-tailed Duck. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with about 700 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabbler species seen today were AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (2) and MALLARD. Scoter numbers were down; only 3 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen. Otherwise, COMMON GOLDENEYE (about 40), BUFFLEHEAD (80+), COMMON MERGANSER (about 30), nearly 170 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, and a single HOODED MERGANSER were tallied. Almost 700 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted.

LOONS & GREBES: Two COMMON LOONS, 6 RED-NECKED GREBES, and a HORNED GREBE were seen.

GULLS: A juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen halfway through the second hour. It came wafting down along the beach through the snow, what a sight! This represents our third kittiwake this fall.

RAPTORS: A couple ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS came in off the lake. A MERLIN was also seen.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, PINE GROSBEAK, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, MOURNING DOVE, and DOWNY WOODPECKER.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain and snow is likely along with a light southeast wind. Temperatures should reach 40 F. Accumulation of 1/2 inch of snow is possible.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

7 November 2007

Highlights: HOODED MERGANSER (1), RED-THROATED LOON (1), BLACK SCOTER (10)

WEATHER: Today was the chilliest morning we've had so far, finally dipping below the freezing mark. Temperatures ranged from -1 to 3 Celsius. Winds were calmer than yesterday, that's for sure! Winds remained rather light out of the NW, skies were cloudy, and visibility was decent. We had several batches of flurries but nothing ever accumulated.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were decent, probably higher than expected at this time of year. Over 2000 migrants were seen total and FOUR species were seen every hour: Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, and Red-breasted Merganser. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with over 870 counted.


DUCKS & GEESE: There was a nice variety today (even of dabblers). Species included AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (5+), MALLARD (5), NORTHERN PINTAIL (1), and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (4). All three Scoter species were seen; 15 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 3 SURF SCOTERS, and 10 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. It was a big day for COMMON GOLDENEYE with over 500 counted. Also, over 170 BUFFLEHEAD, over 230 COMMON MERGANSER, nearly 600 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, and a single HOODED MERGANSER were tallied. Almost 900 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted.

LOONS & GREBES: Five COMMON LOONS and a RED-THROATED LOON were tallied in addition to 16 RED-NECKED GREBES. A couple HORNED GREBES were seen most of the day in the bay.

RAPTORS: An adult BALD EAGLE was seen several times throughout the day.

The only other species seen from the waterbird shack were SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, COMMON RAVEN, and PINE GROSBEAK.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain and snow is likely along with a moderate southeast wind. Temperatures should reach the low 40's F. Accumulation of 1-2 inches of snow is possible.


Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

6 November 2007

Highlights: RED-THROATED LOON (2)

WEATHER: What a day! On the drive up to the point this morning, I had to stop and clear fallen trees! That was my first hint. The woods around me were just thrashing and my walk out to the shack was even a little eerie. The north winds out on the open beach were phenomenal, easily gusting over 50 mph. The storm surge had pushed water to within 30 meters of the shack whereas a normal day would be around 150 meters! Small pieces of driftwood were simply flying through the air. I wasn't worried about the shack blowing over or the windows collapsing inward, I was more worried about the size of the rocks that were air born and hitting the windows! Waves were between 15-20 feet high (see photo below). Temperatures ranged from 3-5 Celsius, skies remained cloudy, and visibility was decent (if it weren't for the water spray).
OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were definitely higher than the last several days, I imagine the gales out of the north really boosted their air speed!! Over 3000 migrants were seen total and two species were seen every hour: Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with over 2600 counted.

DUCKS & GEESE: No dabblers were seen today. Scoter numbers were boosted a little; 40+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 3 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. Almost 400 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 10+ BUFFLEHEAD, and over 210 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen. Otherwise, LONG-TAILED DUCK (2600+) stole the show. Their numbers were fairly consistent throughout the day but with a little drop the last hour. Pictured below are 2 different male Long-tailed Ducks, the top photo being the typical winter plumage.

LOONS & GREBES: Five COMMON LOONS and 2 RED-THROATED LOONS were tallied in addition to 8 RED-NECKED GREBES.

RAPTORS: No raptors were seen today.

SHOREBIRDS: A lone, dark, small, mystery shorebird buzzed by in the 3rd hour.

The only non-waterbird species seen from the waterbird shack were SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Snow is likely along with a moderate north wind and temperatures in the 30's F.

Thanks for checking in and making sure I'm alive!

Monday, November 5, 2007

5 November 2007

Highlights: DUNLIN (175)

WEATHER: All 8 hours of the count today were rainy. The strong winds were out of the south for most of the count but the last couple hours were drastically different! The winds shifted to a brutal gale out of the NW late in the count and stayed that way until I stumbled off the point. The temperatures ranged from 4-7 Celsius (4 being recorded late in the count when the winds shifted). Visibility was limited much of the count due to the numerous rain showers and winds.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The numbers today were low. Less than 150 ducks were seen total. No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck came the closest, seen 7 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Dunlin (175) while the most numerous duck species was Long-tailed Duck (95+).

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were 8 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Scoter numbers were thin; only 7 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen. Otherwise, only LONG-TAILED DUCK (95+) and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (4) were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Four COMMON LOONS and 4 RED-NECKED GREBES were seen. A lone HORNED GREBE was also tallied.

RAPTORS: No raptors were seen today.

SHOREBIRDS: A nice surprise, a flock of 175 DUNLIN came in and landed in a puddle at the point during the 5th & 6th hours. They departed within the hour.

The only other species seen from the waterbird shack were SNOW BUNTING, COMMON RAVEN, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: There is a 100% chance of snow showers tomorrow in addition to gales out of the north (winds up to 50 mph). High of 39 F. If you're brave enough to venture out to the point, you better bring your warm weather gear!

See you guys out there! (ha)

Cory Gregory

arcticory@gmail.com

Sunday, November 4, 2007

4 November 2007

Highlights: BLACK SCOTER (1), BOHEMIAN WAXWING (30), PINE GROSBEAK

WEATHER: It was an eerie morning; there wasn't a hint of wind when all of a sudden, a south wind kicked up and remained medium strength for most of the day. Skies were partly cloudy most of the day and only once did it sprinkle for a couple seconds. It was the coolest morning we've had so far, it was 0 Celsius at the start of the day but it eventually reached 10 Celsius.


OVERALL MOVEMENT: It was very slow today (a trend that will become more evident as the season wraps to an end in a couple weeks). Just over 100 migrant birds were seen total. No species was seen every hour but Red-breasted Merganser came the closest, seen 6 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser 50+ seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were 2 distant "dabbler species". About 15 AYTHYA passed by which included mostly GREATER SCAUP. Scoter numbers were thin; only 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and 1 BLACK SCOTER were seen. Otherwise, LONG-TAILED DUCK (35+), COMMON GOLDENEYE (10+), BUFFLEHEAD (5+), COMMON MERGANSER (15+), and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (50+) were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Seven COMMON LOONS were seen whereas Red-throated Loons were missed today. Over 5 RED-NECKED GREBES and 7 HORNED GREBES were also seen.

RAPTORS: A MERLIN, NORTHERN HARRIER, and several ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were seen coming in off the lake today.

The tip remains a good spot to have PINE GROSBEAK, EVENING GROSBEAK, RED CROSSBILL, and BOHEMIAN WAXWING (30+). Some other species seen included SNOW BUNTING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, HORNED LARK (2), and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain is likely tomorrow along with moderate south winds and temperatures reaching 43 F. Bring your rain coat!

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Saturday, November 3, 2007

3 November 2007

Highlights: SHORT-EARED OWL (1), BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1), BLACK SCOTER (3), SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (1)

WEATHER: The winds were very light out of the NW today. It was nice not having to be huddled behind the shack for once! Skies started out clear but became very cloudy in the 3rd and 4th hour. Several small batches of freezing rain came through but visibility remained decent and temperatures ranged from 7-9 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: It was a pretty average day overall although I thought more migrants would pass by. Less than 300 migrant birds were seen total. No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck and Red-necked Grebe came the closest, seen 7 of the 8 hours. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with 150+ seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were 14 MALLARDS and 1 AMERICAN BLACK DUCK. About 15 AYTHYA passed by which included both LESSER and GREATER SCAUP. Over 10 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 1 SURF SCOTER, and 3 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. Otherwise, LONG-TAILED DUCKS (150+), COMMON GOLDENEYES (20), BUFFLEHEAD (20+), COMMON MERGANSER (9), and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (60) were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Two COMMON LOONS and 2 RED-THROATED LOONS were seen in addition to 25 RED-NECKED GREBES and 3 HORNED GREBES.

A SHORT-EARED OWL was seen today at the point by various observers. It was was last seen flying very high to the southwest.
A SHARP-TAILED GROUSE was seen several times from the waterbird shack today. At one point, the bird turned in flight and buzzed directly over us (10 feet up)!

A nice variety of northern species were tallied from the waterbird shack including PINE GROSBEAK, RED CROSSBILL, BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, SNOW BUNTING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, COMMON RAVEN, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Mostly cloudy with a chance of sprinkles. Wind will be light out of the SW and the high should be around 47 F.

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Friday, November 2, 2007

2 November 2007

Highlights: Not much in the way of waterbirds but PINE GROSBEAKS and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were seen from the waterbird shack.

WEATHER: The winds were howling consistently out of the south all day. Skies were cloudy, visibility was decent, and temperatures ranged from 6-11 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: It was a pretty average day overall but a few birds were definitely missing (such as scoters). Less than 500 migrant birds were seen total. One species was seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with 300+ seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were 5 MALLARDS. About 20 AYTHYA passed by while 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and 2 "DARK-WINGED" SCOTERS were also counted. Otherwise, LONG-TAILED DUCKS (320+), COMMON GOLDENEYES (50), BUFFLEHEAD (4), COMMON MERGANSER (1), and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (140+) were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Over 10 COMMON LOONS and 9 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted. Red-throated Loon and Horned Grebe were not seen.

RAPTORS: The only hawks seen today were BALD EAGLE (1) and RED-TAILED HAWK (1).

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included PINE GROSBEAK (25), BOHEMIAN WAXWING (8), COMMON GRACKLE (1), SAVANNAH SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, COMMON RAVEN, and COMMON REDPOLL.

Below is a picture of a Pine Grosbeak at the feeders.


WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Partly sunny, a high near 48, and a moderate west wind.

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Thursday, November 1, 2007

1 November 2007

Highlights: HARLEQUIN DUCK (1)

WEATHER: It was a chilly start to the day with a temperature around 4 Celsius and gale-force winds out of the NW. Although the winds stayed out of the NW, the winds slowly weakened and the temperatures slowly rose t0 6 Celsius. One or two snow flakes were seen.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The winds out of the northwest helped a couple species today, especially Common Goldeneye. Over 500 migrant birds were seen total. Notable absences included Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe, and any dabblers. One species was seen every hour: Red-necked Grebe. The most numerous species was Common Goldeneye with 280+ seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: No dabblers were seen today. A female or juvenile type HARLEQUIN DUCK flew past the point during the 5th hour. Once reaching the point, it circled twice and then continued to the south. A few AYTHYA passed by in the third hour while 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and 1 SURF SCOTER were counted. Otherwise, 90+ LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 280 COMMON GOLDENEYES, 80+ BUFFLEHEAD, and 200+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Five COMMON LOONS and 35+ RED-NECKED GREBES were counted. Red-throated Loon and Horned Grebe were not seen.

RAPTORS: The only hawks seen today were a couple RED-TAILED HAWKS and NORTHERN GOSHAWKS.

The songbird diversity was low from the waterbird shack today. Species seen were SAVANNAH SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, COMMON RAVEN, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Mostly sunny, a high near 52, and a breezy south wind.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

31 October 2007

Highlights: CLIFF/CAVE SWALLOW (1), RED-THROATED LOON (1)

WEATHER: The day started out as a cloudy morning with strong winds out of the SW. However, a front came through by the 4th hour giving us constant rain showers and even stronger winds out of the west. When the freighters choose to anchor in the harbor, you know the weather is about to get foul! Temperatures started at 13 Celsius but ended the day at 7 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The winds out of the southwest seemingly limited migrants today (either that or pushed the ducks beyond vision). Less than 200 birds were seen total. Notable absences included Bufflehead. No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye came the closest (seen 6 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with 80 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: Just a few dabblers were seen today; over a dozen MALLARDS and a single AMERICAN BLACK DUCK. A few SCAUP passed by in the last hour while 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and 1 SURF SCOTER were seen during the first half of the count. Otherwise, 80 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 50 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and 30+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Numbers were low. Six COMMON LOONS and 1 RED-THROATED LOON passed by in the first 3 hours while only 5 RED-NECKED GREBES and a single HORNED GREBE were seen.

RAPTORS: A couple species of raptors were seen during the first half of the count. They included RED-TAILED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BALD EAGLE, and a couple NORTHERN GOSHAWKS.

A CLIFF/CAVE SWALLOW was seen during the late morning.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SAVANNAH SPARROW, SNOW BUNTING, DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, COMMON RAVEN, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: There is a 50% chance of snow along with a breezy northwest wind. Forecasted high of 45 F.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

30 October 2007

Highlights: PRAIRIE WARBLER (1, inland), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)

WEATHER:
The day started out foggy which really limited visibility. The fog burned off before too long and we were left with cloudy skies, a breezy south wind, and temperatures ranging from 10-14 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The winds out of the south really limited migrants today. Less than 200 birds were seen total! Notable absences included Bufflehead and ANY scoters. No species was seen every hour but Long-tailed Duck came the closest (seen 7 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with almost 100 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: Just a few dabblers were seen today; a few MALLARDS and a single AMERICAN BLACK DUCK. A few SCAUP SP. passed by in the 5th hour. No scoters were seen today. Otherwise, over 65 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 25 COMMON GOLDENEYES, a COMMON MERGANSER, and 95+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Numbers were dismal. Two COMMON LOONS and 7 RED-NECKED GREBES were tallied today.

RAPTORS: A NORTHERN HARRIER, RED-TAILED HAWK, and a couple NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were seen today.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included a NORTHERN SHRIKE, SNOW BUNTING, DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and COMMON REDPOLL.

A PRAIRIE WARBLER, the same bird that has been around lately, was seen inland mid-day.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain likely along with a breezy south wind. Forecasted high of 56 F. We'll see what kind of "trick" or "treat" will come along.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Monday, October 29, 2007

29 October 2007

Highlights: SNOW GOOSE (38), SHORT-EARED OWL (1), BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1)

WEATHER: Skies were cloudy, temperatures were comfortable (8-11 Celsius), and winds were moderate out of the west. Visibility was great since the temperature wasn't too chilly.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: It was a little surprising that the winds out of the west-northwest didn't push more birds past the point today. The total number birds today couldn't be more than 4o0! The first several hours were the most active but by the end of the count, birds were very far and few between. No species was seen every hour but Red-breasted Merganser and Long-tailed Duck came the closest (seen 7 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with almost 160 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: A first for the fall, a flock of SNOW GEESE was seen during the first hour. The flock consisted of 37 "blue-morph" birds and 1 "white-morph" bird. A few dabbler species were seen today: AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. No Aythya species were counted today. Scoter numbers were very low with only 10 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 4 SURF SCOTERS. Over 120 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 35 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and a couple BUFFLEHEAD were also seen. Both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were counted.

LOONS & GREBES: Loon numbers were very low; less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen while no Red-throated Loons were tallied. Almost 20 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by. Horned Grebe was not seen today.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

During the first hour, a familiar silhouette was see flying in off the lake. (Consider this a quiz!) See photo below.



The bird, a SHORT-EARED OWL, swooped in behind the shack and perched in a Jack Pine. See photo below.


Our local NORTHERN SHRIKE put on a quick show when it decided to try to chase down a DOWNY WOODPECKER. This isn't the first time the shrike has tried to pull this shenanigan! In the long run, the woodpecker was able to out-maneuver the shrike. See the "high-quality" and "crisp" photo below of the chase!


Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1 fly-by), NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BALD EAGLE, SNOW BUNTING, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Mostly sunny, a breezy south wind, and a high of 58 F.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Sunday, October 28, 2007

28 October 2007

Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1), HOODED MERGANSER (3), HOARY REDPOLL (2, at feeders), PRAIRIE WARBLER (1, inland)

WEATHER: Skies were cloudy, temperatures were cool (5-7 Celsius), and winds were light out of the NW. Visibility wasn't hampered by fog or rain but instead by the cooler temperatures over the warmer water. A couple snow pellets (also known as "graupel") were seen for a minute or two this morning but it never really snowed or rained heavily.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Considering the winds were out of the NW, the movement today was minimal. For the first several hours, every flock of Long-tailed Ducks were actually heading north. It's not uncommon to see a flock heading north but the ducks were numbering in the hundreds and I never saw any of them turn around! Odd. No species was seen every hour but Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck came the closest (seen 7 of the 8 hours). The most numerous species was Red-breasted Merganser with almost 80 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabbler seen was a single GREEN-WINGED TEAL while less than 30 Aythya were counted today. Scoter numbers were low with only 13 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2 SURF SCOTERS, and 6 BLACK SCOTERS. Over 70 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, over 60 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and 10+ BUFFLEHEADS were also seen. All three Merganser species were counted: RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (75+), COMMON MERGANSER (9), and HOODED MERGANSER (3).

LOONS & GREBES: Loon numbers continue to drop; less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen while no Red-throated Loons were tallied. Almost 40 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a couple HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

GULLS: A juvenile BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was found at 12:02 pm at the point. It was first seen swimming in a puddle out at the point before it lifted up and eventually disappeared out to the southeast. This is the first juvenile kittiwake of the season and our second kittiwake overall.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included some vocal NORTHERN SHRIKES (2), SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and COMMON REDPOLL.

Two HOARY REDPOLLS have been seen at the gift shop feeders. A PRAIRIE WARBLER was seen inland as well. Check out the WPBO Sightings blog for more details.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Cloudy with a moderate wind out of the west. Forecasted high of 53 F.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Saturday, October 27, 2007

27 October 2007

Highlights: Pretty slim pickings for a highlight, I would say BLACK SCOTER and RED-THROATED LOON.

WEATHER: It was windy today... really windy. The gale-force winds (up to 45 mph) were ripping out of the north the entire count producing some enormous waves and lots of blowing sand. Numerous rain showers passed through and along with cool temperatures (6-10 Celsius), it made for a rather brutal experience if you weren't prepared for it. Visibility was limited due to rain but also... waves. Some of the giant waves offshore would actually block my view!

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Although the diversity of species was never huge, the movement was pretty thick during the morning hours; almost 1000 Mergansers were seen in the first hour alone. Numbers eventually dwindled late in the count. Only one species was seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with almost 1400 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: The only dabblers seen today were MALLARD (nearly 100) and AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (15). Less than 60 Aythya were counted today. Scoter numbers seemed average; 50+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 5 SURF SCOTERS, and 5 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. With the winds out of the north, it was another good day for LONG-TAILED DUCKS; the day ended with almost 1400 seen. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE (25), BUFFLEHEAD (70+), and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (1200+).

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 15 COMMON LOONS were seen along with a lone RED-THROATED LOON. Over 80 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a couple HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

GULLS: A small group of BONAPARTE'S GULLS zipped by in the second hour. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen any gull flying faster than these were.

RAPTORS: A juvenile RED-TAILED HAWK and juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWK were seen from the waterbird shack.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and COMMON REDPOLL.

A HOARY REDPOLL has been reported from the gift shop feeders.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain showers are likely along with moderate winds out of the northwest. Forecasted high of 41 F. Bring your rain coat!

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Friday, October 26, 2007

26 October 2007

Highlights: HOODED MERGANSER (3), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)

WEATHER: Very cloudy skies (with some light fog in the morning) kept the count today rather dark and gloomy. Winds were light out of the south most of the day and the temperature ranged from 10-14 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The movement seemed rather average today although the diversity was decent enough. There wasn't much in the way of record-breaking numbers or really exciting birds but that's alright, it was still enjoyable to be out birding. Three species of migrants were seen every hour: Common Loon, Long-tailed Duck, and Red-necked Grebe. The most numerous species was Long-tailed Duck with over 900 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: Species seen today included MALLARD, GADWALL (9), and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 300 Aythya were counted including over 40 REDHEAD. Scoter numbers were a little below average; 100+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 9 SURF SCOTERS, and 9 BLACK SCOTERS were seen. This morning had a couple flocks of LONG-TAILED DUCKS and the day ended with over 900 seen. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE (25+), BUFFLEHEAD (125+), RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (175+), and HOODED MERGANSERS (3).

LOONS & GREBES: Over 30 COMMON LOONS were seen along with a lone RED-THROATED LOON. Over 25 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to 11 HORNED GREBES. Throughout the day, both species of grebes are often seen on the water around the point.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

RAPTORS: Species seen included RED-TAILED HAWK (including another very dark juvenile, nearly all black), BALD EAGLE, NORTHERN HARRIER (3), NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1 juvenile), SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (1), and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN SHRIKE (1), and some large flocks of COMMON REDPOLLS (100+).

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain showers are likely along with gusty winds out of the north. Forecasted high of 49 F. Sounds like a fantastic time!

Good Birding,

Cory Gregory

arcticory@gmail.com

Thursday, October 25, 2007

25 October 2007

Highlights: NORTHERN SHRIKE (1), TURKEY VULTURE (1)

WEATHER: Today was a beautiful day to be outside! It was sunny and clear with a light-moderate wind out of the south. The temperatures were slightly cool, ranging from 6-11 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The south winds REALLY shut things down today. After the big flight yesterday due to the north winds, today acted as a giant cork in the migration. No species of migrants were seen every hour. The most numerous bird was Long-tailed Duck (420+).

DUCKS & GEESE: The variety today was very low. Species seen today included MALLARD, less than 45 Aythya, and 30 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE (10+), BUFFLEHEAD (6), RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (30+), COMMON MERGANSERS (11), and LONG-TAILED DUCK (420+).

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen and no RED-THROATED LOONS were tallied. Ten RED-NECKED GREBES passed by as well as 3 HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen.

A lone TURKEY VULTURE was seen late in the count soaring with a RED-TAILED HAWK.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included NORTHERN SHRIKE (1), MERLIN, NORTHERN HARRIER, SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and COMMON REDPOLL.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Winds out of the south, a high of 53, and increasing clouds with a chance of rain after 2 pm.

Good Birding,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

24 October 2007

Highlights: LONG-TAILED DUCK (8300+), OWL SP. (1), GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (1)

WEATHER: The most noticeable aspect of the weather today was the gale-forced wind ripping out of the north the entire day. Skies were cloudy and the temperature was constant at 7 Celsius. Visibility was limited due to the cold air over the warmer lake (with giant waves, to boot).

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The movement of Long-tailed Ducks really stole the show this morning; over 4600 were seen in less than 2 hours! Their numbers eventually thinned out to 8 birds in the last hour. It was a good flight for White-winged Scoter as well, 430 were counted. Three species of migrants were seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser, White-winged Scoter and Long-tailed Duck.

DUCKS & GEESE: The variety today was low. Species seen today included MALLARD (15+), NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Less than 50 Aythya were counted. Over 400 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 30+ SURF SCOTERS, 15 BLACK SCOTERS, and several "dark-winged" scoters were seen. As stated above, it was an impressive LONG-TAILED DUCK day with over 8300 seen. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE (70+), BUFFLEHEAD (30+), and 400+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 20 COMMON LOONS were seen along with 3 RED-THROATED LOONS. It's very obvious that the grebe numbers are slowing down drastically. The north winds helped the grebes a little though, over 130 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a couple HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: A lone GREATER YELLOWLEGS spent the entire count standing nearly in one place down on the point. It didn't look too pleased with the gale-force winds!

GULLS: A lone first-winter GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL spent a portion of the count roosting with the gull flock.

During the first hour of the count, a large owl was seen flying well out over the lake. I suspect it was either a Great Gray or Barred Owl but couldn't say for certain.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, MOURNING DOVE, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Winds out of the south, sunny, and a high of 52 F.

Good Birding,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

23 October 2007

Highlights: TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (3), HOODED MERGANSER (1), BLACK SCOTER (15)


WEATHER: It was a beautiful, crisp, fall morning out at the point. Winds were light out of the west and skies were clear most of the count. Temperatures ranged from 8-12 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The movement today was decent during the morning and although things slowed considerably later in the afternoon, it was never completely dead. About 2500 birds passed by including a decent flight by Long-tailed Duck with about 1000 birds. Three species of migrants were seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser, White-winged Scoter, and Long-tailed Duck. Speaking of Long-tailed Duck, it was the most numerous species today.

DUCKS & GEESE: The variety today was rather low. Some species seen today included MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Many less flocks of Aythya were seen today but they still included a mix of SCAUP and REDHEAD. About 170 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 15+ SURF SCOTERS, and 15 BLACK SCOTERS passed by. It was another decent day for LONG-TAILED DUCKS with about 1000 seen. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD (100+), HOODED MERGANSER (1), and almost 500 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 10 COMMON LOONS were seen and no Red-throated Loons were counted. A little over 100 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to 14 HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: A single SANDERLING was seen on the beach in the 6th hour. Less than an hour later, a tight flock of about 45 DUNLIN buzzed the beach.

No swallows were seen today.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL, PILEATED WOODPECKER, BALD EAGLE, MERLIN, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

If you've been birding at the point lately, you've likely been baffled by our local MOURNING DOVE (which happens to have no tail!). See photo below.

During the 4th hour of the count, Chris Neri located 2 TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES inland. The photo below, although nothing great, at least shows the bird. Multiple reports have come back indicating that there are now at least 3 Solitaires.

Lastly, although not a bird, a COMMON BUCKEYE found the sunny roadside too hard to resist. See photo below.


WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Breezy north winds along with a 50% chance of showers. High of 44.

Good Birding,


Cory Gregory

arcticory@gmail.com

Monday, October 22, 2007

22 October 2007

Highlights: CANVASBACK (3), BLACK SCOTER (27), HOODED MERGANSER (1), BALD EAGLE (swimming 1/2 mile)

WEATHER: The weather today was very consistently cloudy with moderate NW winds. The temperature ranged from 11-12 Celsius. Visibility was decent.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The movement this morning was, at times, overwhelming! The winds from the NW helped a lot of birds along (like the Red-necked Grebes). Like yesterday, over 4000 waterbirds migrated by. Most notable was the impressive Long-tailed Duck flight (1200+) and "Aythya" flight (1000+). Four species of migrants were seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, White-winged Scoter and Red-necked Grebe. Long-tailed Duck was the most numerous species (excluding the giant categories of "aythya").

DUCKS & GEESE: The variety today was rather high. Some species seen today included WOOD DUCK (1), GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON (20+), AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 1000 Aythya were seen including a mix of SCAUP species and CANVASBACK (3). Over 300 scoters were seen today including about 200 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 40+ SURF SCOTERS, 20+ BLACK SCOTERS, and several "dark-winged" scoters. It was an impressive LONG-TAILED DUCK day with over 1200 seen. Also counted were COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD (200+), HOODED MERGANSER (1), and almost 1000 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 50 COMMON LOONS were seen along with 6 RED-THROATED LOONS. There was good movement of grebes though, over 500 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to 6 HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

GULLS: Some small flocks of BONAPARTE'S GULLS passed by late in the count. About 40 were seen.

No swallows were seen today.

Speaking of things you don't see every day, a BALD EAGLE was seen swimming close to 1/2 mile! First seen flying low over the bay with a huge fish, the eagle slowly lost strength until it landed on the water. Obviously giving up on the fish, the eagle then started rowing with its wings until it finally made it back to shore. The whole ordeal probably took better part of an hour.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, AMERICAN PIPIT, MOURNING DOVE, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Moderate west winds along with a chance of showers later in the day. High of 51.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Sunday, October 21, 2007

21 October 2007

Highlights: CAVE SWALLOW (1), BOHEMIAN WAXWING (1), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)

WEATHER: It was a beautiful day to be out birding! The light south winds brought mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures (13-18 Celsius). Visibility was decent in the early hours but as the temperature rose, the visibility worsened. The wind started to strengthen a little towards the end of the count.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Today was surprising; it was great birding AND the weather was enjoyable! Migration was impressive today, over 4000 waterbirds passed by including a decent mix of species. Most notable were the impressive Aythya numbers and a big Bufflehead flight. Four species of migrants were seen every hour: Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, and Red-necked Grebe. Red-breasted Merganser was the most numerous species but Bufflehead was close behind with nearly 400 seen.

DUCKS & GEESE: Some species seen today included GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON (70+), MALLARD, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 1000 Aythya were seen including a mix of REDHEAD and SCAUP species. Over 400 scoters were seen today including 260 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 70+ SURF SCOTERS, 10+ BLACK SCOTERS, and several "dark-winged" scoters. Almost 400 BUFFLEHEAD passed by in the first 4 hours! Also seen were LONG-TAILED DUCK (130+), COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER (3), and hundreds of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Over 120 COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS passed by, mostly in the last half of the count. Nearly 190 RED-NECKED GREBES passed by in addition to a surprising 175+ HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: Three species were seen including DUNLIN, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, and SANDERLING.

GULLS: Almost seen every hour were numerous flocks of BONAPARTE'S GULLS passing by the point. Over 225 were recorded for the waterbird count but numerous flocks kept on flying by later in the afternoon.

Without a doubt, the excitement around Whitefish Point today was a well-studied and photographed CAVE SWALLOW! It was seen sporadically through 3 pm and no sightings have come since then. If looking for this bird, be cautious as CLIFF SWALLOWS were also seen and photographed. Pictures taken by Chris Neri of the Cave Swallow can be seen on the sightings blog at http://wpbosightings.blogspot.com/.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included BOHEMIAN WAXWING (1), NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, TURKEY VULTURE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, PILEATED WOODPECKER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Rain is likely with a moderate west wind. Temperatures will be in the 40's and 50's. Dare I mention it... but snow is in the forecast for later this coming week!

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Saturday, October 20, 2007

20 October 2007

Highlights: FORSTER'S TERN, "WESTERN" RED-TAILED HAWK

WEATHER: The day started out rather rainy and cloudy with a moderate wind out of the west. Later in the day, the skies cleared while the wind remained out of the west. Visibility was very limited at times. Temperatures ranged from 11-13 Celsius.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: Compared to yesterday, today was rather active. Today showed a bit more diversity with ducks, boosted overall numbers, and we even had some shorebirds! Three waterbird species were seen every hour of the count: Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, and Surf Scoter. The most numerous species today was Long-tailed Duck.

DUCKS & GEESE: Making a reappearance after a multiple-day absence, CANADA GEESE were seen (5). Also seen were GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON (60), MALLARD, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A couple REDHEAD were tallied in addition to several SCAUP flocks. Nearly 30 SURF SCOTERS and 28 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen while 12 BLACK SCOTERS were also counted. It was a better day for LONG-TAILED DUCKS with over 500 counted. Also seen were COMMON GOLDENEYE and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.

LOONS & GREBES: About 25 COMMON LOONS and 3 RED-THROATED LOONS passed by while 90 RED-NECKED GREBES and 6 HORNED GREBES were also seen.

SHOREBIRDS: Up to 7 SANDERLINGS were counted in addition to a single AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER.

TERNS/GULLS: A winter-plumaged FORSTER'S TERN was seen in the 3rd hour straight off the point. Four BONAPARTE'S GULLS also were counted today.

RAPTORS: Out in force this morning, up to 25 RED-TAILED HAWKS were present including a dark juvenile "Western" Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. calurus). Also seen were NORTHERN GOSHAWK, MERLIN, and BALD EAGLE.

Some other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, VESPER SPARROW, AMERICAN PIPIT, and a flock of 8 MOURNING DOVES.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW: Party sunny with a light south wind.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Friday, October 19, 2007

19 October 2007

Highlights: PARASITIC JAEGER (1), BLACK SCOTER (2), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)

WEATHER: Very gusty winds from the south brought scattered showers, dark clouds, blowing sand, temperatures ranging from 14-15 Celsius, and decent visibility.

OVERALL MOVEMENT: The migration today was pretty light with a noticeable absence of ducks, lower numbers of grebes, and lower scoter numbers. Loons, which almost seem to prefer a headwind, still came by in decent numbers though. Hawks were plentiful, probably due to the strong south winds concentrating them at the point.

DUCKS & GEESE: A couple of MALLARD, GREATER SCAUP, LESSER SCAUP, LONG-TAILED DUCK (118), and all three scoter species (WHITE-WINGED, SURF, and BLACK) were seen. Also seen were 90 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and some COMMON MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Over 40 COMMON LOONS, 3 RED-THROATED LOONS, and 11 RED-NECKED GREBES were seen. A couple of HORNED GREBES were also counted.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

JAEGERS/GULLS: A rather dark young PARASITIC JAEGER (1) came zipping in during the 4th hour. It was seen again in the 6th hour and just after the count as well. A single BONAPARTE'S GULL was seen in the 7th hour.

RAPTORS: It was noticeably active at the point today. Species tallied included RED-TAILED HAWK (7), MERLIN (1), ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (2), BALD EAGLE (2), NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1), and NORTHERN HARRIER (1).

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included NORTHERN SHRIKE (1), EVENING GROSBEAK, ROCK PIGEON, CLIFF SWALLOW (2), and COMMON REDPOLL.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for a chance of rain, moderate winds from the west, and a high near 60. We'll see what drops in.

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Thursday, October 18, 2007

18 October 2007

Highlights: JAEGER SP. (1), BLACK SCOTER (2), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1)

WEATHER: Constant rain showers. In fact, it was raining every second of the 8 hour count except for 5 minutes! Gale-force winds were out of the SE for most of the count and the temperature was steady at 13-14 Celsius. Due to the constant wind and rain, visibility wasn't excellent (but it wasn't terrible either).

DUCKS & GEESE: Some of the species tallied today included LESSER SCAUP (2), LONG-TAILED DUCK (15+), RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (50+), WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (25+), SURF SCOTER (6), and BLACK SCOTER (2).

LOONS & GREBES: Ten COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS passed by while 18 RED-NECKED GREBES and 6 HORNED GREBES were also seen.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebirds were seen today.

JAEGERS: A distant JAEGER SPECIES was spotted during the 3rd hour of the count. It didn't seem too daunted by the winds, it still chased several gulls offshore. Presumably the same bird, a jaeger was spotted again in the 7th & 8th hour.

Only 6 other species were observed from the waterbird shack today: ROCK PIGEON (7), SNOW BUNTING, NORTHERN SHRIKE (1), AMERICAN CROW, COMMON RAVEN, and RED-TAILED HAWK.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain showers and gusty winds from the south. Weee!

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

17 October 2007

Highlights: PARASITIC JAEGER (1), GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (1), BLACK SCOTER (47)

WEATHER: The count started with rain and although the rain eventually stopped, the skies remained cloudy and threatening much of the day. Winds were moderate-light out of the south and temperatures ranged from 12-15 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: I was a little surprised to have decent diversity today: AMERICAN WIGEON (12+), MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (20+). Around 200 aythya passed by which included a mix of RING-NECKED DUCK, LESSER SCAUP, and GREATER SCAUP. Scoter numbers were high today, especially of Black Scoter. Over 270 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, nearly 150 SURF SCOTER, and 47 BLACK SCOTERS passed by. Over 200 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted in addition to BUFFLHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and nearly 550 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 30 COMMON LOONS passed by and RED-THROATED LOON was not seen. Nearly 80 RED-NECKED GREBES were seen in addition to nearly 20 HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: One BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and 1 SANDERLING were the only shorebirds tallied today.

GULLS/JAEGERS: A PARASITIC JAEGER was seen during the 6th hour of the count. It came from the north, worked the point a little, and then was last seen heading SE. In the last hour of the count, a jaeger (probably the same one) made a reappearance and harassed several gulls. Ten BONAPARTE'S GULLS were seen passing the point today and a first-year GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was sitting at the point during the last hour of the count.

RAPTORS: The last several hours of the count proved to be quite active with raptors. Multiple BALD EAGLES, 5+ RED-TAILED HAWKS, 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (both color morphs), a NORTHERN GOSHAWK (juvenile), and a NORTHERN HARRIER was seen.

Some of the other species seen from the shack today included NORTHERN SHRIKE (1, juvenile), EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL (30+), LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and HORNED LARK.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for 90% chance of thunderstorms and gusty east winds.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

16 October 2007

Highlights: PARASITIC JAEGER (1)

WEATHER: The day started out with cloudy skies, moderate to strong winds out of the SE, and decent visibility. However, rain moved in during the last two hours of the count and the temperature started to drop again. Temperatures ranged from 8-11 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: A mixture of things came past the point today although nothing in record-breaking numbers. Species included GADWALL, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. About 400 Aythya passed by which was composed of REDHEAD, GREATER SCAUP, and LESSER SCAUP. As expected, all three scoter species were seen again today: WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (90), SURF SCOTER (37), and BLACK SCOTER (16). Some other species tallied included BUFFLEHEAD (10), COMMON GOLDENEYE, both usual mergansers, and nearly 200 LONG-TAILED DUCKS.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 50 COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS were seen passing by and less than 30 RED-NECKED GREBES and a couple HORNED GREBES were tallied today.

SHOREBIRDS: One SANDERLING was seen foraging at the point early this morning.

JAEGERS: A non-adult intermediate-morph PARASITIC JAEGER came zipping along the beach during the 5th hour. Since the bird came in quite close to shore, we had great and relatively lengthy looks. It harassed at least two different gulls during its pass through.

Some of the other species counted from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, CHIPPING SPARROW, COMMON REDPOLL, EVENING GROSBEAK, and RED-TAILED HAWKS.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for fog, a chance of rain, and moderate south winds.

Thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Monday, October 15, 2007

15 October 2007

Highlights: TUNDRA/TRUMPETER SWAN (1)

WEATHER: The winds were light to moderate out of the ESE most of the day giving warmer temperatures and great visibility. Temperatures ranged from 9-13 Celsius and skies were mostly cloudy.

DUCKS & GEESE: Always a nice sighting, a TUNDRA/TRUMPETER SWAN was seen flying between the shack and the lighthouse during the third hour today. A handful of AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and MALLARDS were seen in addition to a couple NORTHERN PINTAIL and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Aythya numbers were moderate (about 200 birds) with RING-NECKED DUCKS and both LESSER and GREATER SCAUP being seen. Again, all three scoter species were tallied: WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (120+), SURF SCOTER (99), and BLACK SCOTER (20). Some other duck species included BUFFLEHEAD (9), COMMON GOLDENEYE (4), LONG-TAILED DUCK (7), and some mixed numbers of RED-BREASTED and COMMON MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Nearly 60 COMMON LOONS were tallied along with a couple RED-THROATED LOONS. Nearly 80 RED-NECKED GREBES were also counted with a handful of HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: No shorebird species were seen during the count, however, a single WILSON'S SNIPE flushed in front of me on my walk out early this morning.

GULLS/JAEGERS: No jaegers were seen today but 10 BONAPARTE'S GULLS did come by.

RAPTORS: Both an adult and juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWK made a pass this morning along with ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BALD EAGLE, and several RED-TAILED HAWKS.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, HORNED LARK, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, PILEATED WOODPECKER, and a slew of DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERS.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain showers and moderate east winds.

Good Birding!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Sunday, October 14, 2007

14 October 2007

Highlights: BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (1 adult), JAEGER SP. (1)

WEATHER: Having light winds out of the N and W today was a treat after several days of strong winds. Skies were mostly sunny, visibility was good most of the day, and the temperatures ranged from 7-12 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: The last couple days had been slow for scaup but their numbers rose again today. Overall, the movement was alright but no record-breaking took place. Several of the usual species were seen such as MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Over 700 Aythya were seen which included REDHEAD (17), RING-NECKED DUCK, and hundreds of SCAUP. All three scoter species were seen yet again which included WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (160+), SURF SCOTER (15), and BLACK SCOTER. Several BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and LONG-TAILED DUCK (280) were seen. Both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS also passed by the point today.

LOONS & GREBES: Less than 30 COMMON LOONS were seen and only a single RED-THROATED LOON was tallied. About 80 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted along with 5 HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: Three SANDERLINGS were the only shorebirds seen today.

GULLS/JAEGERS: In the third hour of the count, a very distant adult JAEGER was seen flying past from the north. Unfortunately, the bird never reappeared in the day or got any closer. The outstanding highlight of the day came in the fifth hour when Erik Enbody spotted an adult BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE headed for the beach! The bird flew around the point and actually landed on the beach for a moment! The bird then lifted and eventually made its way out to the SE over the bay (where it was chased by a gull). This marks the first Black-legged Kittiwake of the season and it was extra special since the adult kittiwakes are much rarer in the Great Lakes (most BLKI sightings are of juveniles).

RAPTORS: Some of the species seen today included ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, MERLIN, and RED-TAILED HAWK. A really interesting looking bird, a rufous/dark morph Red-tailed Hawk, hung around most of the day and was last seen late in the count.

Putting on a great show was a NORTHERN SHRIKE that repeatedly attempted to catch a Downy Woodpecker! The shrike would often land on the snags and tree tops behind the shack.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, HORNED LARK, AMERICAN PIPIT, and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET which landed on Cindy Johnstone!

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for mostly sunny skies and calm winds. Could be interesting!

Thanks for checking in,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Saturday, October 13, 2007

13 October 2007

Highlights: JAEGER SP. (1), BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (1), THAYERS/ICELAND GULL (1)

WEATHER: Light to moderate winds were out of the NW all day giving a chilly, cloudy day. Visibility was good though and the temperatures ranged from 8-10 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: No geese were tallied. Otherwise, MALLARD (10), GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (220), and COMMON MERGANSER were tallied. It was a good day for scoters, especially BLACK SCOTER with 43 birds tallied through 5 hours of the count. Over 100 SURF SCOTERS and over 130 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were also tallied. There was a considerable movement of LONG-TAILED DUCKS with over 1600 seen. Last but not least, a single COMMON GOLDENEYE was also seen.

LOONS & GREBES: Once again, it was rather slow in the loon category. Less than 40 COMMON LOONS and only 3 RED-THROATED LOONS were counted. Over 180 RED-NECKED GREBES passed the point though along with a handful of HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: The only shorebirds tallied were 3 SANDERLINGS and a single WILSON'S SNIPE.

GULLS/JAEGERS: In the second hour of the count, a very distant JAEGER was seen chasing a gull (and being chased by a gull) to the north but the jaeger never came any closer. A probable ICELAND GULL was seen in the 7th hour. However, it shared a couple characteristics with Thayer's Gull so the exact species was not determined. The gull flew and landed near the harbor but later efforts to relocate the bird came up empty. A single BONAPARTE'S GULL was seen today as well.

RAPTORS: Some species seen today included PEREGRINE FALCON (1), MERLIN, BALD EAGLE, RED-TAILED HAWK (5), and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK.

Some of the other birds seen from the waterbird shack included SNOW BUNTING, COMMON REDPOLL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, HORNED LARK, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. A definite crowd-pleaser, a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER visited the point briefly this morning. First perched on the "Merlin Pole", it later flew down around the beach and then back to one of the "Sharpie Sticks".

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for sunny skies and a light north wind.

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Friday, October 12, 2007

12 October 2007

Highlights: Same as yesterday; BLACK SCOTER (28), NORTHERN SHRIKE (4), COMMON REDPOLL (30+)

WEATHER: Winds were less gusty than yesterday but still rather moderate out of the NW. Skies were cloudy and temperatures ranged from 6-7 Celsius. Again, visibility was poor due to the chilly air over the warmer lake.

DUCKS & GEESE: The count was very slow today which was rather surprising considering the wind direction. Nonetheless, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD, RING-NECKED DUCK, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, LONG-TAILED DUCK (380+), and COMMON GOLDENEYE were counted. All three scoters were seen again: WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (350), SURF SCOTER (120+), and BLACK SCOTER (28). No geese were seen/heard.

LOONS & GREBES: It was very slow for loons today; less than 15 COMMON LOONS and only 1 RED-THROATED LOON. The winds helped RED-NECKED GREBES a little though, over 150 were tallied along with several HORNED GREBES.

SHOREBIRDS: SANDERLING (3) was the only shorebird species seen today.

RAPTORS: Hawks have been rather quiet. However, PEREGRINE FALCON, MERLIN, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and RED-TAILED HAWK were seen today.

Some of the other birds seen from the waterbird shack included NORTHERN SHRIKE (3 adults & 1 juvenile), COMMON REDPOLL (flock of 30+), SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, HAIRY WOODPECKER, and the usual LAPLAND LONGSPURS, HORNED LARKS, and AMERICAN PIPITS.

Although not right at the point, several LAPLAND LONGSPURS and HORNED LARKS were foraging in the grass lawn at the Shipwreck Museum this afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled!

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for northwest winds and a 40% chance of rain.

Good Birding,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Thursday, October 11, 2007

11 October 2007

Highlights: BLACK SCOTER (8), NORTHERN SHRIKE (1+), COMMON REDPOLL (5)

WEATHER: Winds were pretty gusty out of the north all day giving way to big waves and shaky scopes! Temperatures were cool, 6-11 Celsius, which actually made the visibility rather poor. Skies ranged from totally overcast to partly sunny.

DUCKS & GEESE: Numbers could have been high today but with the poor visibility, who knows. Small numbers of ducks passed including AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and RING-NECKED DUCK (28). All three scoters were seen; WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (360), SURF SCOTER (100+), and BLACK SCOTER (8). Over 400 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and over 110 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were counted.

LOONS & GREBES: About 50 COMMON LOONS and 3 RED-THROATED LOONS were counted. Over 20 RED-NECKED GREBES and 6 HORNED GREBES were tallied.

SHOREBIRDS: A single AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and 3 SANDERLING were the only shorebirds seen today.

Some other species seen from the waterbird shack today included at least 1 NORTHERN SHRIKE (see photo below), COMMON REDPOLL (5), AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and the usual larks/longspurs/pipits.



The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for gusty north winds again with a chance of showers. We'll see what drops in!

Good Birding,

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10 October 2007

Highlights: BLACK SCOTER (1), GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (1)

WEATHER: The forecast was right, today was almost constant rain! Winds were moderate out of the N and NE and temperatures were cooler, 9-11 Celsius. However, visibility was never terrible if you were able to keep your optics dry.

DUCKS & GEESE: Numbers were very low today in every category. Over 140 CANADA GEESE came by along with a few species like NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and REDHEAD. All three scoter species were seen though; SURF SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and BLACK SCOTER (1) were tallied. Over 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were counted in addition to 20+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and 2 male HOODED MERGANSERS.

LOONS & GREBES: Loon numbers were very thin today as well, less than 20 COMMON LOONS were counted and only a single RED-THROATED LOON was seen. RED-NECKED GREBE numbers continue to thin as well, less than 10 were seen migrating past the point. However, HORNED GREBES seem to be peaking as over 25 were counted swimming in the bay at one time.

CRANES: Three SANDHILL CRANES flew over during the 7th hour.

SHOREBIRDS: Shorebirds were hard to come by today as well; only a single BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and a single SANDERLING were tallied.

GULLS: Long overdue for this fall, we had our first GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL at the point today. No Bonaparte's Gulls, jaegers, or terns were seen today.

Some of the other species recorded from the waterbird shack today included AMERICAN TREE-SPARROW, several PEREGINRE FALCONS, MERLIN, and the usual AMERICAN PIPITS/HORNED LARKS/LAPLAND LONGSPURS.

I forgot to note in yesterdays blog, a BARN SWALLOW was seen yesterday, the 9th of October.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for very breezy winds out of the north and temperatures reaching 9 Celsius.

Thanks for checking in!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

9 October 2007

Highlights: PACIFIC LOON (1), JAEGER SP. (1)

WEATHER: The day started out really pleasant: the skies were cloudless, the visibility was great, and the temperatures ranged from 10-17 Celsius. However, the last hour of the count was totally different! A huge front came through bringing rain, rougher "seas", very dark clouds, and the temperature plummeted back to 10 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: On average, I would say the movement today was a little slow. Over 200 CANADA GEESE were counted through most of the day but no Cackling Geese were found. Some of the other species tallied included AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (30+). Aythya were not very common today, just 4 scaup passed by. Ten SURF SCOTERS and almost 70 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS passed by in addition to 45+ RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and nearly 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS.

LOONS & GREBES: A gorgeous, alternate plumaged PACIFIC LOON, our 3rd of the season, passed along the beach during the 5th count. What a look! Every intricate detail stood out as it passed by in great light. Besides the bright gray neck/nape, one could even see the flared neck shape that Pacific's have. Otherwise, over 50 COMMON LOONS and a couple RED-THROATED LOONS were also tallied. Less than 20 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted along with 4 HORNED GREBES.

CRANES: It was an interesting couple hours mid-day when the SANDHILL CRANES started passing over. In a matter of just an hour and a half, several flocks passed over totally over 220 cranes.

SHOREBIRDS: Five species were tallied including BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDERLNG (15), and DUNLIN.

JAEGERS: Our 37th jaeger of the season passed by early this morning. Unlike the two yesterday, this bird stayed very distant and was left as a "jaeger species". It harassed a gull fiercely though and was rewarded with an early morning meal. Unlike the jaegers from yesterday, this bird was probably a young bird. I know there has been some questioning as to the number of jaegers here at Whitefish Point. I can assure you that we are very careful in all identifications and are making sure to the best of our ability that we do not recount jaegers.

RAPTORS: The clear skies brought better numbers of raptors by the point today. We had several different PEREGRINE FALCONS in addition to MERLIN, AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and RED-TAILED HAWKS.

Some of the other birds seen from the point today included YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, CROSSBILL SPECIES, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, and HAIRY WOODPECKER along with the usual HORNED LARKS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and AMERICAN PIPITS.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain showers and north winds 5-15 mph.

Thanks for checking in!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improving the blog!

Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Monday, October 8, 2007

8 October 2007

Highlights: PARASITIC JAEGER (2), BLACK SCOTER (1)

WEATHER: I shouldn't have mentioned the fog yesterday, it was way worse today! For the first 6 hours of the count, the water was not even visible. Winds were calm or very light out of the south and temperatures ranged from 15-20 Celsius. Finally, the fog lifted for the last two hours and skies eventually started to clear.

DUCKS & GEESE: It was a miracle that any ducks were tallied today considering the conditions. However, after the fog lifted, several small batches of birds came by including nearly 250 CANADA GEESE. A WOOD DUCK also came in with one of the goose flocks. A couple AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and GREATER SCAUP were counted. All three scoters were seen; SURF SCOTER (15), WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (240), and BLACK SCOTER (1). Flocks of LONG-TAILED DUCK are starting to form, over 130 birds were counted in the last couple hours. The first HOODED MERGANSER of the season was tallied today in addition to many RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and a single COMMON GOLDENEYE.

LOONS & GREBES: Nearly 100 COMMON LOONS were tallied during the last couple hours in addition to a small handful of RED-THROATED LOONS. Less than 10 RED-NECKED GREBES were counted even though 8 HORNED GREBES were counted.

SHOREBIRDS: Five species were seen today: AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (6 landed just after the count as well), BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SANDERLING, DUNLIN, and WILSON'S SNIPE.

JAEGERS: Two different light-morph PARASITIC JAEGERS came by the point within 10 minutes of each other during the last hour of the count. The first was in a classic adult plumage, complete with a dark throat band and very nicely pointed retricies. The second jaeger, most likely an advanced third year bird, was the same as the first jaeger but different in that it totally lacked a throat band.

Some of the other birds around the shack today included PILEATED WOODPECKER, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, PEREGRINE FALCON, SAVANNAH SPARROW, HORNED LARK, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and AMERICAN PIPIT.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for rain and southwest winds.

Thanks for checking in,
Cory Gregory
arcticory@gmail.com
Waterbird Counter

Sunday, October 7, 2007

7 October 2007

Highlights: PARASITIC JAEGER (1), BLACK SCOTER (1), FORSTER'S TERN (1), YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (1)

WEATHER: I think one word could sum it up: FOG. We were fogged in the entire day, at times not even able to see the water from the waterbird shack. Winds were moderate out of the south and temperatures ranged from 14-17 Celsius.

DUCKS & GEESE: Despite the fog, a surprising diversity was tallied today although I'm sure more passed by through the haze. Species included CANADA GEESE (80), WOOD DUCK (1), AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD (15), BLUE-WINGED TEAL (1), NORTHERN SHOVELER (8), NORTHERN PINTAIL (10+), and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (50+). Several hundred Aythya species passed by the point, mostly both SCAUP species but also some REDHEAD and RING-NECKED DUCK. All three scoter species were tallied today; WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (100+), SURF SCOTER (50+), and BLACK SCOTER (1). Also seen were RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (400+), COMMON GOLDENEYE, and LONG-TAILED DUCK (5).

LOONS & GREBES: There was a great COMMON LOON flight today despite the extremely poor visibility, over 400 were counted. Over 15 RED-THROATED LOONS, 0ver 20 RED-NECKED GREBES, and just a handful of HORNED GREBES were also counted.

SHOREBIRDS: Six species were tallied today: BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (4), AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (3), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SANDERLING, DUNLIN, and WILSON'S SNIPE.

JAEGERS/TERNS: A FORSTER'S TERN came by the point in the 6th hour and a juvenile, intermediate morph PARASITIC JAEGER came in during the 7th hour. The jaeger was first seen chasing a gull along the lake shore before it cut the tip, and was lost over the bay.

Some of the other species seen from the waterbird shack today included YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, NORTHERN HARRIER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, HORNED LARK, AMERICAN PIPIT, and SAVANNAH SPARROW.

HARRIS'S SPARROWS are still being seen at the feeders (see photo below).



Lately, there have been large flocks of PINE SISKINS (see photo below) also at the feeders.

Yesterday, a LECONTE'S SPARROW was found near the Foghorn Pond but was not relocated today. See photo below.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for thunderstorms and light winds out of the southeast.

Good birding and thanks for checking in,

Cory Gregory
Waterbird Counter